Speakers office running on less than 50% of previous term’s cost

The final speech by speaker Lockwood Smith looking back on the 49th parliament, is worth listening to.

It includes some statistics, the most impressive of which came during his tribute to his staff.  Dr Smith gave credit to his senior private secretary who managed to run the Speaker’s office on less than 50% of the cost of the previous term.

Other stats:

  • The house sat for 1650 hours, 150 more than the previous parliament.
  • A quarter of those were in urgency and Dr Smith said he hopes proposals for changes to Standing Orders adopted by the House will facilitate less reliance on urgency in future.
  • Only two Members Bills received royal assent. That was only one fewer than in the 48th parliament and he hopes that proposed changes will enable more of those Bills to be considered next term.
  • The Finance and expenditure select committee was the busiest, in terms of reports presented to the House, the Commerce select Committee was a close second.
  • There was a 40% increase in the number of written questions asked of Ministers.
  • In spite of 17 fewer sitting days more oral questions were asked and Dr Smith put that down to Question Time continuing even when the House was in urgency.

Dr Smith turned from statistics to reflections on some of the memorable moments of the term.

Among these was a speech by Tau Henare who interjected with a mention of Linda Lovelace about which Dr Smith said: “you my colleagues seemed to understand what that meant, I had no idea what he was . . . on about.”

He finished by wishing his colleagues well, thanked them for treating him with courtesy and concluded with “Go the mighty All Blacks.”

Dr Smith has gained respect from across the House and outside it for the  improved behaviour in the House and his even-handed treatment of MPs. This was not always appreciated by Ministers who are held to a higher standard than those in previous administrations.

5 Responses to Speakers office running on less than 50% of previous term’s cost

  1. Redbaiter says:

    Damn right.

    Lockie shows up that that derelict loser Margaret Wilson for what she really was.

    A partisan disgrace.


  2. Neil says:

    Agree Redbaiter.
    Lockwood ruled with a good sense of humour,knowledge of standing orders and as a speaker who represented well all members of the house.
    The vile rudeness of Margaret Wilson’s days were gone. She was highly partisan, favouring Labour who literally screamed at opposition members.
    Lockwood enjoyed his role, his wide smile and banter with “delinquints” like Trevor Mallard,David Cunliffe.Paul Quinn and Rodney Hide were a sight to behold..
    I’m a long term listener/viewer of parliament and Lockwood’s performance was like Dick Harrison during the 1970’s-80’s in the Muldoon government.


  3. Mike Johnson says:

    Come on Ele. Can’t you do a post on Lockwood banning the Herald from Parliament without waiting for Mr Farrar’s line on this outrage?

    And you used to be a journalist.


  4. homepaddock says:

    Mike – this might surprise some people but I do have a life and don’t blog on everything that moves.

    This post is about the speaker though, so comments on the banning are on topic should you or anyone else wish to discuss it.


  5. Andrei says:

    What is there to say about the Herald’s banning?

    They broke the rules and a penalty was applied – seems fairly straight forward.

    In related news the sun rose this morning in the East


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